Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe has portrayed herself as the victim in last month’s alleged assault against South African model Gabriella Engels in a Johannesburg hotel, according to a deposition seen by the Reuters news agency.
In the statement, filed on 17 August, four days after the incident, Mrs Mugabe countered Ms Engels’ version of events. The model says that she was attacked by Mrs Mugabe using an electric cable.
Reuters reports that the deposition says that Mrs Mugabe had gone to check on her adult sons who were “in trouble” at the hotel and “upon her arrival, Ms Engels, who was intoxicated and unhinged, attacked Dr Grace Mugabe with a knife after she was asked to leave the hotel”.
The statement also alleges that Ms Engels injuries were as a result of a fight she had at a nightclub the previous night.
In an interview with the BBC, Ms Engels spoke about how Mrs Mugabe attacked her in the hotel where she was a guest of her sons.
The model’s lawyers from campaign group, Afriforum, denied Mrs Mugabe’s accusations saying, “Gabriella never attacked Grace Mugabe in any way and she did not participate in the fight [at the nightclub]”.
South Africa granted Mrs Mugabe diplomatic immunity so she could leave the country without being charged.